Nothing produces a tingle up the backbone fairly like stay theater, and “Waitress: The Musical” joins the listing of filmed musicals which have preserved their stage qualities whereas giving viewers the very best seat in the home. Sara Bareilles headlines this adaptation for which she wrote the lilting songs, in a present that manages to be alternately candy and foolish, touching and raunchy.
Primarily based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell, “Waitress” loaded up a full tray’s price of Tony Award nominations in 2016, solely to expertise the unlucky timing of getting shot down by operating into the “Hamilton” buzzsaw. Appropriately, the latter’s manufacturing on Disney+ kicked off a pandemic wave of filmed musicals and performs coming to streaming providers, which additionally included Apple’s “Come From Away,” each glittering examples of the shape.
Receiving a five-day theatrical window, the filmed model of the musical “Waitress” doesn’t climb to these heights, nevertheless it comes a lot shut, and soars in moments. Bareilles, for instance, earns (and deserves) a mid-show standing ovation after belting out “She Used to Be Mine,” a track that defines the musical’s emotional core.
Stated core comes from Bareilles’ Jenna, whose bond together with her coworkers (Charity Angél Dawson, Caitlin Houlahan) on the native diner sustains her within the face of an sad dwelling life together with her abusive lout of a husband (Joe Tippett).
Jenna is thus horrified to find that she is perhaps pregnant – the byproduct of a drunken evening – although the unwelcome growth does carry her into contact with an ungainly physician (Drew Gehling), with whom she begins an affair. Add that to her roster of questionable selections, which the 2 acknowledge head-on in a track titled “Dangerous Concept.”
Jenna additionally possesses a knack for pie-making courtesy of her late mom, a ability that she hopes to make use of to obtain her freedom, planning to enter a contest and use the prize cash to run away. If that seems like a skinny thread upon which to hold her hopes, it’s emblematic of the desperation that makes “Waitress” so poignant.
The extra theatrical facets of the musical, resembling Christopher Fitzgerald’s eccentric suitor, are clearly designed for an in-person setting, and danger feeling a bit of too large blown up for the display.
However, in a month that brings two film musicals in “The Shade Purple” (additionally a film changed into a musical) and “Wonka,” the present makes the transition with most of its charms – and Bareilles’ golden set of singing pipes – very a lot intact. And whereas “Waitress” remains to be in all probability a dish finest served stay, like “Hamilton” and “Come From Away,” seeing this occasion presentation seems like a good suggestion.
“Waitress: The Musical” will play December 7-11 in US theaters.